The Cueto brothers, Zach and Bryce, were the two cyclists I met in Silver City, New Mexico who were headed to the opposite coast-line with their riding partner, Tori. They told me how they had re-routed into New Orleans when they rode through, and how the roads were not the safest getting into the city on a bike. For that reason, I had decided to skip The Big Easy, figuring it would be to hard. I chose to stay to the north where the traffic is lighter and scenery is lush.
I stuffed everything I have into it’s place in my panniers and headed towards Jackson at about ten in the morning. While I was pedaling along through the mangled and twisted dense forest, I was thinking about how perfect the day was. It was sunny, with no chance of rain predicted, the air felt crisp and cool, and the morning breeze was pushing me east.
I found wifi and coffee in the lobby of the historic Centenary Inn where I sat and wrote out my last blog. A message came in from Leslie. She’s a friend from Colorado who writes and tells me that her daughter lives in New Orleans, that she has a couch for me to surf if needed.
I met Leslie when I lived in Durango a few years ago where I was working for a motorcycle dealership and playing cowboy. She gave weekly dance lessons at the Wild Horse. But I think I might have met her at the Diamond Bell, that’s where the Blue Moon Ramblers have been playing on Sunday evenings for well over twenty years. They were my favorite band in town. Back then, Leslie did her best to try and teach me the two step, how to swing dance, and the waltz. It was all awkward, especially the waltz.
I responded to her message on Facebook, saying that I was planning on bypassing the city. But then I got to thinking. I sent a friend request to Rebekah, Leslie’s daughter. She wrote back, inviting Jo and I to her place to stay. And then, John, who lives in Bend, he messages me from Mobile, Alabama where he just flew into. He is also headed into New Orleans to attend the Jazz & Roots Fest.
I pedaled another twenty miles along the Scenic Louisiana Bayou Byway and found a park to take a break in. While Jo played on the dated teeter totter, I checked in with my would be host.
She offered to fetch Jo and I from the north side of the madness at about nine o’clock at night after she gets off work. Rebekah drives a mule, not to pick us up, but to make a buck, working for Royal Carriages, guiding tourists through the French Quarter.
I kept pedaling east and eventually hung a right when I reached the 51. That led me south through a half dozen small towns before reaching Hammond. I locked in on the Golden Arches when I arrived at the first traffic light, finding myself with a scrumptious Artesian Chicken Sandwich and an extraordinarily delicious chocolate mocha. I had just ridden 72 miles.
Moments later, Rebekah pulled up out front, Jo and I hopped in her pickup and away we went…
That was easy…